A voice for the voiceless with our friends at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League


If you’re reading this, chances are you’re familiar with Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.

On our TSG team alone we have weekly volunteers, event chairs and of course, a handful of adopted animals from the organization.

This year, they’ll find new homes for around 6500 animals – the biggest adoption year in Peggy Adams history!

With so many accomplishments over the past few years from facilities to programming, we thought it would be a great time to catch up with CEO Rich Anderson.


Keep reading to find out why he describes the organization as “truly unlike any other shelter”.


Thinking about getting involved with the organization? Don’t worry the how to’s on that are included as well. 

Written by TSG Contributing Editor, Kate Rowan



Rich has an extensive background in philanthropy, but animal welfare stuck with him so much that he’s dedicated the past decade to his work with Peggy Adams.

Having been familiar with the Animal Rescue League for many years, Rich shared his initial inspiration for taking on the opportunity as CEO over ten years ago.

“The bottom line is, animals need us to work on their behalf,” he began.

“I thought, here’s an organization that’s been around since 1925. It has incredible support from the community and was on a path for real greatness in the animal welfare sphere, and doing tremendous work in Palm Beach County. I saw unlimited potential, and that’s what really sparked my interest and got me excited about returning to Florida,” said Rich.


The organization itself has an even longer tenure with an interesting story to accompany it. 

Originally just named, “Animal Rescue League,” 1989 marked a pivotal year when a landmark donation was made by Charles Norton in memory of his animal loving wife, Peggy Adams. To honor the impact, Animal Rescue League was officially renamed Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League – and the rest is history.

Peggy’s legacy lives on in modern day, as programming and impact are constantly being expanding with one thing in mind.

“All of our programs are geared toward making sure every homeless animal in our community

gets a second chance at life preventing animals from being euthanized unnecessarily in the

community,” shares Rich. “The ultimate goal is, what can we do to save more lives?”

Some highlights include increasing spay/neuter capacity (upwards of fifteen thousand performed annually), offering low-cost and free veterinary services (one of the biggest industry hurdles nationwide), and acting as the largest provider of rehoming of animals in the community, to name a few.

Another offering we love is the Humane Education Program, intended to educate and inform the youth of our community in order to develop the next generation of animal advocates.

Lastly and perhaps most critical is the ‘safety net’ program, which gives pet owners the tools to reconsider the need to give up a furry friend.

Training, education programs and even financial/food assistance are all part of the program.

For people struggling to feed their pets due to financial burden, Peggy’s Pantry offers a solution.

This year they’ll distribute over 2,000 lbs of pet food – for free – feeding tens of thousands of local pets and keeping them in their homes.

On top of that, through something called, “Olivia’s fund,” medical care is offered to families who can’t pay for surgeries, injuries, or other unexpected ailments their pet might be dealing with.

Weekly training programs and a behavior hotline are just a number of other services at the disposal of Palm Beach county pet owners at any given time.

“The last place we want to see an animal end up is an animal shelter – whether it’s Peggy Adams or any other,” shared Rich.

We know that shelters can sometimes feel like an unpleasant place to visit – but Peggy Adams truly exists in a league of its own, so let’s do some myth busting.


“First and foremost is the myth that shelters are a sad place,” says Rich. “There are a lot of shelters (like Peggy Adams) that are high quality, really great places to visit that are creating happy stories every day.”

“Another myth we want to debunk is that animals in shelters are not pets that people would want to have in their homes,” he continued. “There could be nothing further from the truth – the dogs and cats we adopt out aren’t broken; they make amazing family members.”

Our last myth to bust is around euthanasia, which we know comes up a lot in conversations around shelters.

“Many people think that shelters have time limits on animals…we don’t have any here. We save every saveable animal. This is a happy place; we’re going to find them new homes and take the best care of them while they’re here with us,” says Rich.



We promised we’d share how you can give back to this amazing organization, so here goes:



Peggy Adams relies on more than 1000 volunteers to keep the organization up and running across around 60 different roles.

If you’re not already one of them, good news: there’s still more jobs to be done!

Love dogs? You can walk them, or become a foster! Don’t want to be as hands on? How about the marketing department?

Passionate about fundraising? They can always use help there.

Learn more here: https://www.peggyadams.org/how-help/future-volunteers






As a non-profit, PAARL relies on contributions from the community each year. This can come in the form of money or supplies.

More on that here: https://www.peggyadams.org/donate



A number of events and fundraisers serve to support the organization each year, including Party Animal, chaired by our own editor Stacey Leuliette, Photographer Nick Mele and his lovely wife Molly Last year, Nick and Molly adopted the latest addition to the Mele family; Lola at the event!!

In addition, they host the Doggy Ball in December at the Sailfish Club, celebrating its 50th year this year!

The annual Walk for the Animals occurs in February in downtown West Palm Beach, drawing upwards of 2000 participants and their furry (or scaly, or feathered) companions.

Coming up this month is their major Countdown 2 Zero (C2Z) adoption event that involves more than 20 local shelters and rescue organizations, and hundreds of animals ready for new homes. The Countdown 2 Zero initiative was established in 2014 with the goal of ending unnecessary euthanasia at the local government run shelter by 2024. Just 10-12 years ago, that  shelter was euthanizing nearly 20,000 animals in a single year. Now, nearly 90% of animals that end up at the government run shelter are being saved thanks to the C2Z effort!


Need we say more? The brand new facilities will make you want to stay a while – we promise.


To learn more, visit them online at https://www.peggyadams.org/ or in-person at

3100/3200 N Military Trail , West Palm Beach, FL 33409